First Ineos US shale ship docks in Europe

Ineos shale ship the Ineos Intrepid
Ineos shale ship the Ineos Intrepid

The first of the fleet of ships carrying shale gas from the USA to Europe and Grangemouth arrived in Norway this week.

As The Falkirk Herald went to press yesterday (Wednesday) the petrochemical giant confirmed its vessel the Ineos Intrepid had arrived at the firm’s plant at Rafnes in Norway, carrying 27,500m3 of ethane.

This is the very first time that ethane from US shale gas has ever been exported from the USA and the first time it has been imported into Europe. There are plans for a shipment to arrive in Grangemouth later this year.

Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe said: “We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years and cost $2 billion, as we begin supply of ethane from shale to our sites in Europe.

“This is a world first and I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in it. I believe Ineos is one of very few companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off.”

To receive the gas, Ineos has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Grangemouth and Rafnes. The imported ethane will be used in the gas cracker at Grangemouth, both as a fuel and as a feedstock.

The Ineos Intrepid is one of four specially designed 180 metre-long Dragon class ships, that will eventually form part of a fleet of eight of the world’s largest ethane capable carriers. The Intrepid has the phrase “Shale Gas For Progress” emblazoned along its side.